Wednesday, October 17, 2007

October Newsletter 2007

Dead2Sin Ministries - Thailand

Romans 6:5-10

Sober greetings from Thailand! October 16, 2007

As I sit here writing you my heart is torn. Today John and I had to run some errands in down town Hat Yai while a friend of ours stayed at the house while the boys napped. When John and I arrived down town we found that the shop we needed to go to was closed…as were most all the shops. So we jumped back on John’s scooter and headed back home but as we were driving we noticed something strange. Everywhere we turned there were policemen directing traffic and talking into their walkie-talkies.

There are normally a few police officers in downtown Hat Yai but today there was about 4 per corner. We were redirected by them and found ourselves in the midst of some heavy traffic. John weaved through traffic as only John does and we found ourselves at a slow crawl and could not go around other vehicles anymore. It was then that we saw the parade coming our way.

The beginning of the parade was what you would expect of a normal Thai parade. Thai children dressed in traditional Thai outfits, smiling and waving. But as the parade progressed my stomach began to turn. Trucks filled with people bowing and praying with their eyes rolled into the back of their heads. The smell of incense was so strong it felt as though it was a dense smoke that had settled on us.

What came next, I will never forget. I have seen the pictures of people mutilating themselves to appease their gods but never before had I seen it in person. Droves of people came by cutting their tongues with swords…cutting their bodies repetitively. Some of them had huge poles rammed through their cheeks from one side to the other. There were even banners that were hung across 4 men with a pole going through all of their cheeks. Blood was dripping from their chin and covering their bodies as their eyes rolled in the back of their heads…and they shake sporadically.

The most shocking of all was a young boy…no older than 9 who bore 2 poles going through his cheeks following in suit as blood dripped down his chin. I looked around to see the reaction of the Thai people and they were smiling and chattering away…unmoved. Tears filled my eyes as righteous anger flushed through my spirit. The deception of the devil is so great and so strong that these people truly believe that this is the truth. They allow spirits to enter their body…upon which they continue to mutilate themselves to show their devotion. If they feel little to no pain then they are pure and if they scream or feel pain then they are deviant and unworthy.

This festival happens every October in Thailand…this practice is preluded by a 10 day vegetarian fast to cleanse their bodies and make merit to their gods. The presence there was so strong that at one point I felt afraid as we passed another group of men cutting away at their tongues…only 2-3 feet away. I thought how easily they could sling that blade and cut right into John and I. I then felt the Holy Spirit remind me of this scripture:

“12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

And of THOSE powers that we wrestle with…we have power and authority over them given by our Lord Jesus Christ. Fear left and I started praying and coming against the powers that were at work. As John and I were finally free of that horrid scene I think we were both in shock at what we had seen.

Cambodian workers gathering to see the Jesus filmAs we were returning home we were reminded why we are here. John is not JUST going to language and studying his heart out to learn the Thai language. We are not JUST building relationships and being there for our disciples and church. We are not JUST passing out tracts in every village and sharing the gospel at every opportunity because we are missionaries and that’s our job…we are, in fact, doing our part in a war for the souls of men, women and children in Thailand.

The enemy is not playing around and neither are we. We want to thank you from the bottom of our souls for giving your money and for praying for us. I want to personally say thank you in a way I’ve never felt before…from a different place in my heart…from the place in my heart that has grown to love the Thai people more than I thought possible.

I want to say thank you for enabling us to have affected Sam’s life forever, for enabling us to impact this nation by spreading the gospel to hundreds of thousands of people through tracts and other outreaches, by enabling us to show the love of God to the people that we meet and talk to everyday and by enabling us to help equip the body of Christ in Thailand to spread the gospel. You ARE making a difference in Thailand through your donations and prayers.
Sam's new Mom!
John praying for some of the 20 that came forward to know Jesus that night.Because of changes to Thai laws last year we MUST leave the country and return to America before the end of December to reapply for our visas for the coming year. We have set a goal of leaving on November 9th because if we leave at this time then we can save over $700 dollars because Jude has not turned 2 yet and we won’t have to purchase a ticket for him. As of now we have $120 dollars toward that goal.

But this time is no different from the time that I went into the hospital to deliver our second son and had no money to pay the hospital but had it just in time to pay when we had to. This is no different from a year ago when there was no way for us to be able to purchase tickets to return for furlough and God came through. And this is in no way different from each time God does financial miracles so that our needs are always met.

Please pray with us in the next 3 weeks that all loose ends would be tied up and that we would continue to press forward here with all fervor until it is time to step on that plane. Some of the toughest times that missionaries experience is that time before leaving…so please pray for us. Thank you for reading and for praying for us!

“There is joy in Hell when a saint grows idle! There is gladness among devils when we cease to pray, when we become slack in faith and feeble in communion with God. — Charles Spurgeon, 1893

All for Him,

John, Stephanie, Josiah and Jude

Dead2Sin Ministries
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Anonymous said...

Oh Steph~ My heart and soul weep from reading your blog...the enemy is SUCH a deciever! This lights a new fire inside of me and I will be interceding for you all even MORE now...The Lord brought this verse to me when I was reading your blog:

2 Cor 10:4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

The Lord will have His victory in Hat Yai!

~Blessings in Him

Michelle said...

I'm in TEARS!
HOw does Jesus STAND IT!!!!!